Thursday, January 28, 2010

Why did it have to be Australia?

We're nearing the end of the first grand slam of the year for tennis. It's one of the hardest to watch, simply because of where it's held. Australia. Seventeen hours ahead of my time zone. Great. But when forced to choose between a good night's rest and a tense tennis match...well, let's just say I've been yawning a lot this week! I have reinstated my college schedule of staying up as late as necessary and only waking up when required. My alarm clock is getting a little dusty as ten in the morning seems all too early. Hopefully come Sunday I'll be able to get back into a reasonable sleeping pattern, but for now I'm just going to sit back and enjoy.

Whenever a grand slam comes around, I start to appreciate the free time that comes from part-time employment. When I was working full time over the summer I remember getting withdrawls from not getting to watch Wimbledon 24/7. I had my pop-up window for scores, but that's just not as exciting. When the 4th of July came around, I wasn't looking forward to fireworks or hot dogs. No, it was the day off to watch tennis.

Of course, I would much rather have health insurance, annual salary and stability than just eight weeks of tennis bliss. But somewhere deep down, I'm hoping I can have both...I don't suppose the ESPN team is looking for an energetic and nerdy writer to join the squad?

Monday, January 25, 2010

No Offense, But...

Oh, the things you learn about people working in retail. Last week, people seemed particularly crabby. Whether it was the weather or the fact that many were returning to work or school for the first time since the holidays began, I don't know, but people were a little crabby pants.

One woman came into the anonymous store in which I work and made a comment which began, "No offense, but," and ended, quite obviously, in something offensive. I can't give all the details without giving away where I work, but basically she was making a comment about something in the store being less than clean (a clearance item which had been through the wringer, but was essentially fine. Trust me, this was not actually gross). I commented that it was easy to clean. Her response was, "No offense, but if that were true you all would have done it already."

Well, excuse me. I didn't tell her off, but in my mind, I thought about the nine hours I had spent here on my last shift, with about six other people until three in the morning setting up the store, changing the tables and putting up new posters about the new deals for the week. I'm sorry that after killing my feet and making myself sore for days afterwards that I didn't wash down each individual clearance item for your convenience. I mean, sure it's 90% off, but hey, that's worth stretching into four in the morning, just to make sure that you don't have any "eww" factor when gracing us with your custom.

Ahh, that feels better. Sometimes the annoyance builds up, and it has nowhere to go. Here's my suggestion: never use the phrase, "No offense, but..." It's like oxymoronic, and actually pretty rude. It's like punching someone in the face, but telling them not to complain about it. It means that you get to say something mean, and the person you say it to has to forgive you, otherwise they're being super-sensitive. Because, after all, you didn't mean to offend. It's a faux-superiority, and I think that most of the time, people know exactly what they're doing when they say it. We all dabble in superiority after all. But from now on, I'm going to make sure to stop myself any time those words start coming out of my mouth. Then I can feel superior about not acting superior!

I do feel the need to apologize yet again for being an absent blogger, but I'm feeling a resurgence in productivity, so fingers crossed that I'll be pestering you with my thoughts more frequently in the coming weeks!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Hook 'Em Horns

It's no secret that in Texas, football might as well be the only sport. But it wasn't until recently that I've gotten on board with even watching football with any sense of enjoyment. I didn't understand all the rules and why 60 minutes of play seemed to take at least two hours in real time. I preferred tennis and soccer. A particularly fond memory I have is from a get-ahead summer school class I took when the teacher slipped me the score of a World Cup match during a test. I would never have needed the same courtesy to know how the Packers were doing or how many touchdowns the Patriots had.

I think much of the reason I shunned football was simply the faux rebellion which taints most teenage years. We're always looking for something really popular to hate so we can feel superior to the masses. Now, I'm secure in my individuality and I don't care if being a football fan makes me one of millions. Which isn't to say that people who don't like football aren't secure, just for me, the only reason I kept so far away from the sport was simply because of outside neuroses.

The turning point for me really came after my first semester in college. My Texas nostalgia was in full swing as I found myself away from home and my favorite state-wide grocery store chain. It just so happened that that particular year, the UT Austin Longhorns won the championship. I watched, anxious for my newly-found team to represent the state I had abandoned. When we won, I was ecstatic, but I still wasn't a full-on football convert. Only this football season have I tried to watch as many games as possible, and spent many hours watching ESPN commentary. Much of this was spurred by simply having nothing better to watch, but now, I'm invested.

Tonight, for those that don't know, the Longhorns will face the Crimson Tide in the championship game. We're underdogs, and pretty much the only state in an ESPN poll that thinks we're going to win is Texas. More people think Alabama will win with double digits than think UT will win at all. I have hope that we'll win, but I dread losing. It will mean not watching ESPN for a couple of days. And then what will I do!?

One sign that I truly like football is how painful it is to watch the Longhorns play now. The more I care, the less pleasurable it is to watch my chosen team. I can't watch Andy Roddick play tennis without being stressed out beyond reason, and the same is true of UT. The championship game tonight will not be enjoyable unless it is always clear that we will win, and I know that is not going to happen (whoever wins, it won't be obvious). So spare a thought for me, and send me calming vibes!

Friday, January 1, 2010

2010: Where's My Flying Car?

Happy New Year, everyone! I still can't believe that it's 2010. I just have no context for this particular year. What does it mean to be starting this year? What's going to happen? I have no idea.

It is, yet again, based on school for me. In high school, everything was about graduating in 2005, and then, far away, was 2009. I always thought about those years. Then, maybe I would consider certain age milestones, but that was much more theoretical and didn't involve anything I could really imagine. Now I find myself with no graduations left, no simple milestone markers to reach for. There will be my first day in an office, hopefully doing something I love for the long-term, but there's no hard and fast date I can count down to for that. Which makes morale a little harder to keep up, when nothing seems certain (except those pesky death and taxes). It's not as if I know that I only have a month or six weeks until something comes up. Could be tomorrow, could be next year. God, I hope not.

Anyway, 2010. What does it hold? Mostly, I'm just hoping to get through the year and make it to 2011 with all the things I thought I would have at the end of 2009, like a job and a place of my own. I'm looking forward to seeing what will happen, and I'm going to try my best to make it all good.

As far as resolutions go, that's about it. Maybe try to post a little more regularly here, and with a little more optimism!